Riding the wave created by the phenomenal UFC on Fox 4 card, UFC 150 brings the fighters back to altitude for a PPV card that should be well worth the money. In our main event, Benson Henderson will look to show the first fight was no fluke as he takes on the gutsy Frankie Edgar in defense of his title. In other lightweight action, fan favorite Donald Cerrone will take on Melvin Guillard in a bout that can’t possibly be anything short of amazing.
All this and more await us, so check out my UFC 150 comparison odds for the fights, any props that raise an eyebrow and my general confidence in the pick. Now, onto the fights!
Benson Henderson -150
Frankie Edgar +120
Props: Fight Starts 3rd Round
In what is hopefully the last immediate rematch in Lightweight history, Benson Henderson will defend his title against Frankie Edgar in the UFC 150 main event. In the last fight, Henderson was able to use his superior size and a few well-timed blows to change the course of this fight early, keeping Edgar on the defensive for much of the bout and grabbing the title via unanimous decision. This time out, I don’t see any adjustments that Edgar can really make to allow him to have his way with Henderson, as it’s the size disparity that played the most havok for the former champion here. While Edgar has the superior all-around striking game, he’ll need to put together serious offense to halt Henderson’s long-range striking and clinch tactics. A close fight no matter how you slice it, but one where I have to give the nod to the current champion, with the value primarily resting on the above prop.
Donald Cerrone -200
Melvin Guillard +160
Props: Fight End Inside Distance/Under
I don’t think you could make a fight with more fireworks potential here, as Donald Cerrone looks to shut Melvin Guillard’s mouth inside the Octagon. A great deal of legitimate bad blood puts this firmly into Cerrone’s court, as he’s proven to operate fantastically when angry and under stress, while the same can’t be said for The Young Assassin. Guillard really has two modes as a fighter: The Rapid-Fire Striker and the Methodical Defensive Fighter, neither of which play well into Cerrone. Going hard against Cerrone tends to yield limited results due to his infallible chin and counter striking ability, while working a methodical game plan of outside boxing will see Guillard beat at his own game. I feel confident in Cerrone getting this done one way or another, with the ITD play being the easiest hedge you’ll see on this card, and sets up a great play if Cowboy can finish Guillard early.
Jake Shields -185
Ed Herman +145
Props: Shields by Decision
It’s rare that we see fighters move up in weight after success in their lower weight class, yet Jake Shields will once again mold himself as a 185lber, taking on Team Quest’s Ed Herman. Shields brings a massive amount of grappling knowledge, but has never shown adaptability in his career which could bite him in the ass against larger world-class fighters. Fortunately for Shields, Herman’s stiff approach makes him a great entry-level opponent and I don’t see Shields having trouble getting this fight to the mat and dominating a position battle. This is a case where Herman likely has just enough skill to keep himself alive for three rounds, but will find himself on the wrong end of a decision here. I’d recommend a straight bet on Shields, but understanding this line might be a bit out of reach, would opt instead for a Shields by Decision play at a much more reasonable price.
Yushin Okami -240
Buddy Roberts +190
Props: Fight Goes Distance/over
Looking to stop a back slide after back-to-back KO losses, Okami will take to the cage, facing replacement fighter Buddy Roberts. Roberts looked like a quality acquisition in his UFC debut against Magalhaes, but his relative inexperience against dangerous opponents showed itself in that fight as well. This is simply a bad match-up for Roberts, who doesn’t bring the power needed to stop Okami, and doesn’t have the razor-sharp striking needed to out-point him either. This is a relatively painless win for Okami, but depending on the line, you might be better off taking the Over, as Roberts should survive late into this fight.
Jared Hamman -130
Michael Kuiper EV
Prop: Fight Ends Inside Distance/Under
In what could be a sleeper fight of the evening, Jared Hamman will face Dutch judoka Michael Kuiper in a career-defining bout. Hamman has never exactly looked good, but rather has come back from major adversity and pulled off wins all throughout his UFC career, or found himself face-down on the canvas. Kuiper brings a unique set of skills, but doesn’t seem to be quite at the level needed to deal with the talent in the UFC, making his life in the Octagon a short one. With both men having large faults and moderate skill, this is a hard one to cap, but I feel Hamman has more outs to win, while Kuiper needs to score a KO. Between Kuiper’s power and Hamman’s rabid pace and slick grappling, this is one that I see ending within two rounds no matter what, making the Under your safest bet.
Nik Lentz -150
Eiji Mitsuoka +120
Having had his fill of the 155lb division, the mildly successful Nik Lentz will try his American wrestling against Japanese star Eiji Mitsuoka in a Featherweight bout. Lentz brings a style based on long-range striking and suffocating clinch wrestling, and has shown a decent mind for understanding which aspect of his game will work best in any given fight. This fight becomes a tough bout to call when you consider that Mitsuoka has had such mixed results with traditional wrestlers, either tapping them with fast counter-wrestling submissions or being stuck on his back. Taking into account that Mitsuoka has had endurance issues in the past and Lentz is making this cut for the first time, this is a fight to bet small on, or not at all.
Justin Lawrence -160
Max Hollaway +130
Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over, FOTN
Karate! With a spectacular KO in the TUF Finale, Justin Lawrence cements a contract with the organization, taking on Max Hollaway in a serious FOTN candidate. Lawrence has looked good, but not great, in his time inside the UFC world, but faces a favorable stylistic match-up with the boxer in Hollaway. This could be a tight match due to Hollway’s incredible reach and speed, yet Lawrence’s power strikes and counter-punches can make up some ground with the judges and has the potential to score a stoppage. I like the Over here, provided it’s at -150 or better, and highly recommend a play on FOTN.
Dennis Bermudez -200
Tommy Hayden +160
Props: Hayden by Sub
The rapidly improving juggernaut of the Featherweight division, Dennis Bermudez will take a side step in competition, taking on 0-1 Tommy Hayden. Hayden brings some incredible grappling talent with little in the way of striking or wrestling, making him a poor choice for a UFC contract, but a deceptively dangerous fight for a grinder like Bermudez. While Bermudez should be able to blast Hayden at will, I think your best value will be in a Hayden by Submission play if you can find it, as he’ll have little respect coming into this fight and his sole out to win is with a tap out.
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